Thursday, August 5, 2010

Protect the dagger no matter what the consequences. That was my sacred duty. That was my destiny

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Video game movies...where do I begin? They all fundamentally suck. There are some exceptions for guilty purpose sakes like Doom or for acting sakes like Timothy Olyphant in Hitman but for the most part they all suck. Gamers don't like them, movie goers don't like them so why do they keep churning them out? Easy money.

Well the next one on the churning turnstile is the movie adaptation of the classic game series "Prince of Persia." Although based more along the lines of the first (and maybe the second) game in the Sands of Time Trilogy, this film tries to embody the entire series into one film. It also tries to embody every single action epic ever made. I know I'm not alone in that one.
The film follows Dastan, a street rat turned royalty, who has just raided Alamut, an ancient city that holds a secret and loads of weapons, at least according to the higher ups. Dastan is a gifted athlete, a great warrior and charismatic to boot and he easily takes down this peaceful and unprepared city. Dastan stumbles upon a dagger, which he decides to just keep since it's pretty. The princess Tamina sees Dastan with the dagger and tries to get it back, but to no avail. Instead she opts to marry Dastan, to which Dastan is for once speechless. The audience sees this as a ruse to get the dagger but Dastan is like a deer in headlights. At the celebration party, Dastan gives his father, the king, a robe. This robe kills the king and Dastan and Tamina have to escape the palace, or face certain death.

Tamina is spoiled, unruly, talkative, sassy and smart. She tries at every turn to get the dagger but to no avail. Dastan wonders why it's so important and learns the hard way of its true powers: it can rewind time briefly. Tamina is adamant about not letting the dagger fall into the wrong hands and decides it best to return it to its original place, while Dastan is determined to find out who murdered his father. Battles, traveling, large CGI filled jump sequences ensue.
The story isn't fundamentally bad. It's really cheesy and hokey but it works considering this film tries SO hard to be a classic action epic. You can see elements of almost every single action epic or swashbuckling adventure ever in this film. It's slightly a rip off, but it works. The casting is odd (Jake Gyllenhaal is NOT Middle Eastern) but the cast does well with what it has and Jake is actually pretty fun to watch. The action is exciting and fast paced and I was never really bored with this film.

The major flaws come with what I mentioned: cheesiness, hokiness, rip-off(iness) but the only other one is the ending. I won't spoil it for you but the ending will make or break the movie for you and to me it was a really cheap way of cleaning up your film to make it happy. I really didn't like it.

It's not a bad film, it's good for kids, has some laughs, tons of action and good performances. Worth a weekend rental.



  1. Oh yeah I forgot. The film is mostly Dastan and Tamina though that I forgot the brilliance of the ostrich man. Plus Doc Ock is a great actor.

  2. This is a movie that truly lived up to its horrendous-looking posters. I won't even see this even if it's the only thing available on a plane! I just don't buy Jake as a superhero per se, let a lone a Persian one! Yeah, agree completely with video game movies, but greed rules in Hollywood unfortunately, so we're nowhere close to seeing the last of 'em.

  3. Well, I had a blast watching this film for a variety of reasons:

    1) Richard Coyle as a prince and then king?

    Hello - does anyone remember Jeff from Coupling? He has totally and utterly transformed himself and even though he has some fun lines, his role is mostly serious. If you have seen Coupling, Prince of Persia is a must, even if only to see Richard Coyle.

    2) Jake Gyllenhaal - great action lead

    This one is a good actor. He was marvelous in cult stuff like Donnie Darko and indie like The Good Girl. He suited supporting roles and leading roles just fine. Just like he pulls of any role, he has pulled this one well. I am just glad he didn't (have to) wait till his 40s to become an action/adventure figure like Depp or Downey Jr. (both of whom I love).

    3) Alfred Molina and his character

    I have been a huge Molina fan ever since I saw Chocolat. His dialogues in the film killed me with laughter. All that talk about entrepreneurs, tax evasion and his love for ostriches just killed me

    4) Cliches that work

    As you said, the movie is swarming with them but it works and that's all you can ask from a great summer blockbuster.

    Which reminds me- I haven't blogged about this one yet. Shame on me. Will watch again and write the review!